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Hi all you quilters and lucky long armers out there.

I am beginning my research to detrermine if it is even plausable to buy a long arm. At the APQS site, they recommend contacting professional quilters to learn if they have a backlog. How do you find professional quilters? Is that what I would be if I had a long arm and were taking in work?

Also, how do you find out what kind of saturation of long arm quilts might be in your geographical area?

Thanks in advance for any responses. I have just signed up here and am a computer idiot. What the heck is BBCode? Should I have it on or off?

Nancy

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Guest Linda S

Nancy - I called all the LQS (local quilt shops) in my area. I asked them if they knew of longarmers in the area, if they had a working relationship with them, how far backed up they were, etc. They gave me lots of wonderful information. Every once in a while, you'll get someone who doesn't want to talk with you or has an exclusive relationship with one quilter and will give you a bit of the brush-off, but I didn't find that to be the case. It's a great way to find out how much business is available in your area. Here in Eugene, even though we have several people in the business, several of the shops are just waiting for me to get up and going!! My Liberty arrives today!!! :D I need to get home to meet her in about an hour!

Linda

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I also did a lot of research, I started about a year before I actually made the jump. I started by using the internet, and APQS has some statistics I used as well as the IMQA and a few other sites like that. I also contacted shop people and my local quilt guild actually provided me with usefull info for the area I am in. After I presented my business plan, ( With as much details as I could give them(overload), I still had to give them actual info in person, they had no idea what a longarm is, this was a whole new area. But my loan when through without a hitch, I ask for more than I actually took, as a back up and you need to calculate start up costs not just the machine financing. There is info out there, but you have do the homework and look for it. I strongly suggest you start with a business plan, and some of what you need you can focus on as you write it. There is chapters of SCORE through out the USA and they will help you through all the steps if you need them. I actually wrote my plan, and had things in the works before I took a class that had them come and talk. But I will be using them as a free mentoring service. Good luck. One of the teachers at the IMQ showcase this last May,said while we are not starting out at a time when things were just getting rolling for Longarm quilters, like about 5 years ago, we are in the middle and there is a lot of opportunity out there. This business/ or should I say Quilters have grown about 15% for the last 3 years. Thats huge in the industry of materials and all that is associated with it. So quilting is not a dying art it is growing. Again Good luck.

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Nancy--I've got some information that might be helpful to you as well. I could email you the quilting statistics that I've got as well as a sample business plan and a little study we did to show you how to set some reasonable goals to get a machine paid for in one year. I'd love to share all that with you if you're interested. And of course, I'm available anytime you'd like to visit about this terrific business and/or machines! I can be reached at 800-426-7233, ext. 15 or via email at carla@apqs.com . Get in touch with me and let me know if you'd like more info or if you have other questions! Let us know how we can help you.

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Wow, I wish you could have been at the APQS presentation in atlanta just a week or so ago. My husband and I went on Friday, Carla, Bob, and Tony were wonderful!

I'm over in Forsyth County (Cumming) and my Liberty is on order for September delivery. If you want to chat, just give me a ring! Email me privately.:)

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Welcome, Hope to hear from you on the boards. Nancy its little tricky sometimes trying to get some info on other quilters. But, if you go out and ask at the fabric shops, quilting bees shops, sewing machine shops, church gatherings, craft fairs or shops, go in as a customer looking for quilters and prices. Some of the people at quilting guilds will help. Taking some lessons with others will give you some insite. I have found so many different pricing and type of quilters out there. Some do and Some don't people. I just made a chart of all different quilting and different prices that they do and you will need to figure what to do for yourself.

Some people will be very helpful and other will not discuss anything after they know you are a quilter too or want to be. So if you don't say, or be a customer it helps with some research. Nita

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Guest Linda S

Nancy - I was wondering how your research was going. You know, I was thinking -- the first few inquiries I made a the local quilt shops fell kind of flat. The next time I went back, there were different people working and I asked my questions again and got a totally different response. Humans are funny animals -- they're all different! ;) I hope you'll also look for longarm groups online. I hooked up with a few, which lead to a longarm group in my very town finding my name and emailing me and inviting me to a meeting! Of course, the meeting got cancelled, so we haven't met yet, but maybe next month! A couple of the gals are going to Innovations, so I'm sure I'll get to know some of them. It's a whole new world out there. Lots of information if you just keep poking around. Do let us know how it's going and if we can be more helpful in pointing you in the right direction!

Linda

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Nancy:

Welcome: You have recieved some excellent advice. We have been in the business for about 8 years now.

There is some excellent information on starting a quilting business available. One of the things you might want to do is contact the local guilds (search on quilting guilds). We get to Atlanta about once a year so I am familiar with your city.

Our studio is located in Lee's Summit, MO near Kansas City. If we can be of any help please contact Janet or Mary at countrylanequilt@mail.com or see our website www.countrylanequilting.com.

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